This is my last column of the year and I feel a sort of pressure to bring you some wonderful nonsense to cap off 2020, so thank you to Katie Rosman at The New York Times who spent 80 minutes with Hilaria (née Hillary) Baldwin talking about her roots. For the most part, Hil blames the media for misrepresenting her and has no idea how it happened because she doesn’t read her own press. Trying to sell us on the idea that she and Alec do not read stories about themselves is, in my opinion, a bigger grift than the Spanish bit. Why can’t these two just have a sense of humour about the whole thing? Hire a couple of SNL writers on the sly and work out a bit for Instagram and they would be social media darlings.
â€œThe whole â€˜Hilariaâ€™ thing is hilarious to me,â€ her former dance partner told me. â€œI understand why she did it. It was always her desire to be considered Spanish." https://t.co/0iLd859BFx— katie rosman (@katierosman) December 30, 2020
The cherry on top of the stupidest sundae ever assembled is that New York Magazine (which I usually love) wrote a story on how the Hilaria story broke online. The credit should go to Twitter user @lenibriscoe, who prefers to remain anonymous (and just as I was writing this, set their Twitter account to private), and is not the one interviewed in the NY Mag piece. They are absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, the person who broke this story, including the cucumber video that has gone around.
There have been a lot of big celebrity stories, like the Year in Brad Pitt and the usual marriage and divorces, but it’s also been different sort of year with so many famous people relying on social media as their main outlet for creativity, attention, and promotion. Some, like January Jones, have excelled at it (Vanity Fairy calls her the 2020 MVP) and others showed a side of themselves that led to crisis meetings with their public relations team.
Reality stars have carved out a whole lot more space this year because they have a captive audience: so, who’s up and who’s down? In my assessment, The Bachelor people won big this year, as did the Housewives (helped by accounts like Comments by Bravo). On the flip side, the Kardashians are down, stuck in an Instagram time-warp that is dated. They are heavily relying on outrage posts (vacations, parties) and tricks (fake pregnancy) these days and that gets tiring, especially when there are so many of them working from the same playbook.
There’s no surprise that wealthy people are on vacation right now (many of them haven’t stopped going on vacation), but it’s pretty bold to post about it online. Can’t they just take their trip and be quiet about it? Even Wendi Deng feels the need to show off.
I can see no better way to close this year than a photo of Dominic West, rumbled and broody, posing with his family at Glin Castle. At midnight let’s sing a rousing chorus of, “Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together” to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Happy New Year!